The months during which I have been painting the work for this show have probably been the strangest times that any of us have lived through. Every one of us has had our own stresses and challenges to face up to, our own stories of how is has changed us. Indeed, at times I found it hard to even paint and to be creative.

As a landscape artist, I am used to observing nature very closely, and to returning to the same familiar spot again and again to paint, travelling up and down the country to do so in the process.

However, our circumstances over the last year, with the busyness of our lives taken away and the shrinking of our personal worlds, meant that the passing of the seasons and the minutiae of daily change became more intense, more focussed on, more meaningful and poignant, and even more closely observed.

For many of us, nature

has gradually moved to become something more central in our lives, something constant and comforting.

Of necessity, inspiration for me has had to come from much closer to home; from my garden, from my beautiful local park which I visit every day, from re-exploring familiar, happy places. As a result, I think that the subject matter of my paintings has gained a real intensity, with a focus on the abundance of the natural world, and the seasons and rhythms of nature which just keep going, despite everything, in a demonstration of hopefulness and joy. Small things which might have been seen before as too mundane, too ordinary now have an increased importance and significance. When I paint, I try to just allow the work to become itself, and not be too prescriptive.

These paintings

therefore express that burst of hope and energy, through the vibrancy and intensity of the colours and the joyous textures of the paint.

In a time of turmoil, it has been a chance to reappraise, an opportunity to look very closely at the details of things and to take time to observe and appreciate what is around us.


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